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      Former SC Hospitality Association worker admits to charges

      COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- A former employee of the South Carolina Hospitality Association has admitted she embezzled nearly $500,000 from the group whose director killed himself earlier this year.

      Federal court documents show that Rachel Duncan has entered an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.

      Duncan is expected to plead guilty next week. If she does, she faces 23 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

      Prosecutors say the former accounting director took the money from the group from 2006 until this year and used much of it for online gambling.

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      Duncan's attorney did not immediately return a message Thursday.

      Tom Sponseller led the association for decades before killing himself in February. Police say Sponseller left a suicide note in which he detailed his despair over Duncan's apparent misdeeds, saying he was despondent they happened on his watch.


      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)